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In passing

"done or said when your main focus is something different" Oxford Learner's Dictionary

"briefly and casually" Google?

My main focus in this instance is to think of something to say. I have so far today had three abortive starts at writing something, so I have retreated to the relatively lazy space of odds, and ends. And yes they will be spoken of briefly and casually. No in depth research here. Indeed barely any research at all.

Bougie/Bougier - a new word

The picture at right is from Alice Zaslavsky's book The Joy of Better Cooking. It's of a dish she calls Folded crabby eggs and she introduces it with these words:

"This is essentially slow and steady silky scrambled eggs, but way bougier."

I had no idea what she meant but read on, noting it down for further investigation. Well people I looked it up and this is what 'bougie' means according to the first definition in The Urban Dictionary. I thought i'd better to go for them rather than the more academic Cambridge or Oxford. After all I assume this is sort of slang:

"People pretending to (or think they are) high class and but they're really not (or don't realize they aren't."

There are lots more definitions - because this is a dictionary made up of contributions from the public. The vast majority say the same thing but in different words and with different examples, although I did find one that was a little different - and pardon the language:

"Fly as hell and looking richer than rich - whether rollin in fat racks, or ballin on a budget!!!! Doing the best you possibly can to pamper and spoil yourself...with no fucks given about a shitty economy, or the seeming end of the world going on around us ..."

Which comes from someone calling themselves 'ROLEXX/ WHITE RAPPERZ'. Oh dear I feel so old. Although in a way it's very descriptive and somehow vibrant and encouraging. Moreover this definition, however expressed, is probably more in line with what Alice Zaslavsky meant because she surely didn't mean pretentious.

And incidentally Wix corrected my 'bougier' to 'bougie' so it's obviously a known word. Yet again I feel old.

Her recipe is not online but it's essentially the one described here -on theThe Hong Kong Cookery website. As she says it's essentially scrambled eggs topped with crabmeat, but sort of between scrambled eggs and an omelette.

Still on Alice Zaslavsky and an 'Ingredient spotlight' for a recipe for a baked pumpkin and carrot soup, she talks about Rice seasoning which is apparently a Japanese thing. The link and the picture are from a website called Wandercooks. Actually though you just go to the supermarket and buy some. If not Coles or Woolworths then a nearby Asian supermarket. She describes it as:

"more of a sprinkle - like a Japanese dukkah, full of seeds and spices. Asian grocers sell different varieties, from nori-rich savoury-sweet furikake (the one shown here) to spicy shichimi togarashi ('seven peppers' or 'seven spices')"

So there you go, new word, new ingredient.


And a new drink if you want to ease up on the alcohol but don't want to give up wine. So what is piquette? Well it's very ancient and yet very modern. The ancient bit, according to Wine Enthusiast is because it is:

"Derived from the French word for “prick” or “prickle,” which describes the drink’s slight fizz, piquette dates to ancient Greek and Roman times, when it was known as lora. Considered a meager, cheap-to-produce drink made from the scraps of winemaking, it was given to slaves and field workers."

Modern because it's made from waste - all the bits that are left when the grapes for wine have been pressed; is fermented, non-alcoholic and therefore healthy. Almost virtuous. Basically they just add water to the pomace - the stuff that's left over - and leave it to ferment again. Sometimes they add honey to kick it along. Apparently it doesn't particularly taste like wine - more like sour beer or scrumpy cider, but according to all the wine buffs it's going to be big. And yes you can find some at Dan's.

Chocolate and olive oil

The Guardian had an article last week about different things you could do with olive oil - and you probably know that you can use it to make pastry and various cakes, and even ice cream, but here are some things with chocolate. that you might not know about.

Pictures below. First of all from Ferran Adrià - he of El Bulli in Spain and all those weird and wonderful foods - a dead simple:"get some bread, grate some chocolate, put it under a grill, top with a drizzle of olive oil and salt flakes, then eat – but, as you’d expect, absolutely amazing."

Or you can go for a Chocolate and olive oil mousse from Sophie Grigson (daughter of Jane) of which The Guardian says: "The addition of olive oil comes at the end, almost as a garnish, and you can be as brave or as cowardly as you like with it."

And last - Olive oil hot chocolate which is said to be "richer, and apparently aids digestion."

Who knew?

I'll end with two recipes - one from Ottolenghi, not yet tried but worth having a go at, and one from Delia - tried and true.

This probably ticks all the boxes, simple, tasty, slightly unusual and intriguing looking. The pastry is puff, so how easy is that? You just buy it. It's vaguely Persian with a spice mix of turmeric, black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon and cumin plus an intriguing addition of cider vinegar - and those prunes lentils and split peas, so it ticks the legume box too. The prunes are a Persian thing, and possibly that combination of the spices, but I'm not sure about the cider vinegar. And I'm pretty sure that the Persians would not have used puff pastry.

I shall be trying this sometime soon.

This is from Delia's Summer Collection and it is a dish that I have made quite often. Not every day because it's a bit extravagant I suppose and tarragon is not always in season. But it's a dish that gave me that 'Wow' feeling the first time I made it. And it has never disappointed. I suppose it's just a version of Poulet au vinaigre - a classic French dish, but really you must try it. Make it soon though as there won't be any tarragon in the shops before long.

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